The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Supportive communities

Four movies of 2007 take us inside

We had a discussion this year in our film critics’ groups whether or not to include the category “Best Ensemble” in our annual awards. We were voting for individual achievements—Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, etc.—but felt that some films only really worked because the performances of the entire cast were so outstanding. No one character could go it alone; they needed a community.

As in movies, so in life. Communities fulfill our needs for meaning, sharing and support. It’s often through the challenges and rewards of participation in a group that we are urged to grow closer to the whole people God means us to be. Four outstanding movies in 2007 beautifully illustrated the value of communities.

The Diving Bell and the ButterflyThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly brings a classic in the literature of illness to the screen with all its emotional power and creativity intact. The French film is based on the true story of a magazine editor who after a stroke is unable to move, except to blink one eyelid. A speech therapist devises an alphabet system where he chooses a letter by blinking yes. That’s where the supportive community comes in. A woman helps him use this system to write his memoir, and his family and friends also learn it, enabling him to still be a vital part of their lives (Miramax, PG-13—nudity, sexual content, some language).

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February issue


Embracing diversity